Sunday, October 20, 2019

LA Times: Undoing the Great Mistake of 2016

In a reasoned main editorial The Los Angeles Times makes the case of why it is absolutely essential that Donald Trump be defeated in 2020 if he manages to avoid removal from office via impeachment thanks to Senate Republicans who have sold their souls to Trump and/or are as morally depraved as he is.  In the tussle to win the Democrat nomination, too many candidates seem to forget that "Medicare for All" and other policy pitches and differences pale in comparison to the most important goal: defeating Trump and hopefully many Republicans along with him.  Here in Virginia, in 16 days Virginians can fire the opening salvo in this repudiation of Trump and everything that he and the Republican Party have come to represent: open racism, religious extremism driven by hate, not the gospels, and, of course greed and envy.  Greed on the part of the wealthy and envy on the part of those who blame others for their poor life choices (including voting for Republicans who have consistently worked against their base's economic best interests and, of course the embrace of ignorance).  In its editorial, the LA Times is too kind to Trump voters, in my view, and says they were "hoodwinked" rather than face the reality that race, religious extremism, and greed and envy were the real motivations behind their votes.   That said, here are editorial highlights:

As the 2020 election approaches, the United States is deeply and bitterly polarized, shaken by acts of random and not-so-random violence, with wages still rising too slowly, income inequality continuing to increase and the American Dream feeling more and more out of reach for too many people. Despite low unemployment and a frothy stock market, voters feel a deep anxiety about the future and a dark anger at the political system.
With just a year to go before election day, global alliances are fraying as the U.S. turns inward. The culture wars are raging on campus and off. For only the fourth time in American history, a U.S. president is being investigated by the U.S. House of Representatives with an eye toward impeachment. Immigrants are being demonized and detained . . . .
Flitting above this chaotic landscape — fomenting, provoking, preening, spewing, tweeting, blustering and bullying — is President Donald Trump, the worst, most dangerous president in modern history.
All presidential elections are uniquely consequential, but a good case can be made that the next one is the most important of our lives. The time has come to undo the great mistake of 2016 and drive Trump out of office at the ballot box. It is time to pull our country out of the illiberal abyss into which it is sinking and put it on a path toward reason and fairness and empathy and constructive engagement with the world.
Voters need to keep their eyes on the prize: defeating Trump state by state, issue by issue, vote by vote in November of next year.
But stopping him is not going to be nearly as easy as common sense says it ought to be. The country is profoundly riven: More than 60 million Americans consciously chose this [narcissistic demagogue]  president over his opponent four years ago. And many voters remain entranced — hoodwinked, in our view — by his blunt, cocky, overpromising style. He may be coddling dictators, selling off the planet to oil, gas and mining interests, cynically stirring racial resentment and animosity toward immigrants, and provoking an angry trade war with a rising China, but his base remains steadily, stubbornly supportive.
Trump is temperamentally unsuited to be president . . . . Lies, threats and empty promises are his weapons of choice; enemies are mocked and belittled while the dumbly obedient are rewarded. Ignorant and incurious, unmoved by reasoned argument, contemptuous of laws and institutions, Trump is in thrall to exactly the special interests you would expect, he is schooled at the university of Fox News, he is on a constant search for adulation and short-term advantage. He must be defeated in November 2020.
[O]n two issues, we hope the [Democrat] candidates will agree: first, that the top priority has to be defeating the incumbent, who is too irresponsible to be allowed another term; and second, that his defeat is only a first step. Even before Trump was elected, the country was divided and the old system wasn’t working. Political paralysis was already on the rise well before November 2016 . . . Anyone who is not convinced of that should just remember the name Merrick Garland.
In this series we will seek to answer some basic questions: What is our brief against President Trump and why is it so important that he be defeated? . . . We’ll begin to look at some of the policy issues arising in the race, we’ll examine the battle between progressives and moderates, and we’ll consider the importance of race and racism in the election. For Californians in particular, whose policies are especially loathed by this president and who have so often felt the brunt of his disdain, this election is supremely important.
Now is no time to watch from the sidelines. Voters must become engaged, learn the issues, choose sides, speak out. Removing Donald Trump from office in November 2020 is absolutely essential — and yet it is by no means a sure thing. So do not sit this one out. Join in, and make America America again.
Trump must be defeated and/or removed from office by any means necessary.  Hopefully, the lazy and indifferent who stayed home and failed to vote in 2016 will not repeat their mistake and will make sure they go to the polls and cast their vote against Trump and Republicans in general.

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